Hunt: BBC must be ‘on same planet’

By staff

Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt has suggested the BBC needs to go further on top executives’ and stars’ pay packages.

Recent moves to publish details of the latter without confirming the precise salaries of the corporation’s top talent would have to go further when it comes to next year’s negotiations for the licence fee, Mr Hunt told The Andrew Marr Show.

“We’ll be having discussions over the future of the next licence fee settlement in which I
I do want the BBC to demonstrate that when it comes to their management pay they are on the same planet as everyone else,” he said.

Mr Hunt explained the “economic inheritance we’re facing” meant that, in the same way the government faces a greater responsibility to be transparent in its cost-cutting agenda, so “the BBC needs to show it is careful with licencefeepayers money as well”.

Mr Hunt pointed out many users of the BBC were happy to see licence-fee payers’ money spent on top stars like Bruce Forsyth on BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing – and “to enjoy Ann Widdecombe performing when the next series starts”.